Plane watching has been relegated to a single TV screen at New Plymouth Airport with the terminal’s windows boarded up while it undergoes a $28 million upgrade.
The airport is ‘‘on a journey’’, and work on the $28.7 million terminal upgrade project is in full swing. Which means the view of the tarmac is all but gone, except on the TV.
‘‘The windows were boarded up last year for the construction of a temporary building to house the baggage claim area which will be partly demolished as we prepare for the building of the new terminal,’’ New Plymouth Airport chief executive Wayne Wootton said.
‘‘The airport will remain open throughout this time.’’
The temporary baggage area is partially built and Wootton said the proposed terminal would be completed by late 2019. ‘‘Construction on the new terminal will start later this year in close collaboration with Puketapu hapu,’’ he said. ‘‘The completed project will provide a fantastic gateway to Taranaki.’’
The construction doesn’t stop at the proposed terminal, the car park is also in the middle of getting an upgrade.
From Monday the price of parking at the airport doubled to $2 an hour and the free-parking period dropped from an hour to 20 minutes.
These changes were to help pay for the new terminal.
‘‘Our existing terminal was built to cater for 50,000 passengers a year in the 1960s and we’re getting about 430,000 a year now,’’ Wootton said. ‘‘It’s important our new terminal, which we are in the midst of building, pays for itself.’’
Construction at New Plymouth Airport is all go.